NEW DELHI: Indians trust people known to them the most when it comes to seeking reliable sources of news and information, trumping their belief in traditional sources of media, a new survey has found.
Newspapers and magazines come in second as the more conventional sources of news where Indians (77%) rest their trust, followed by news broadcast on television and radio (71%). Online platforms fetch the least amount of trust among Indians (66%) among the different forms of conventional media, according to a new study by research firm Ipsos titled "Trust in Media".
“We tend to trust people we are close to. It now extends to even news and information, displacing all forms of media, relegating them below personal relationships," said Parijat Chakraborty, country service line leader, Ipsos, public affairs, corporate reputation and customer experience. Newspapers and magazines redeem their position as the best source for relevant news, he added.
Ipsos conducted the survey among 19,541 adults aged 16-74 in 27 countries via the Ipsos Online Panel system. In India it sampled 500 urban and educated people with higher incomes.
However, the Ipsos survey noted that Indians today have greater trust across various sources of news and information than they did 5 years ago. Their trust in news from people they personally know has changed the most (35%), followed by newspapers and magazines (29%); television and radio (24%), online news websites and platforms (23%), and lastly by people they know through the internet (19%).
According to the survey, newspapers and magazines (82%) are also rated as the best source for obtaining relevant news and information, according to those surveyed by Ipsos. Personal relationships come next as a relevant source of news (79%), followed by television and radio (75%), online news websites and platforms (72%) and people known via the internet (62%).
The report by Ipsos also said that Indians trust public broadcasters more than private. The majority of Indians (65%) polled deem public TV and radio broadcasts as necessary. ‘Public broadcasters (TV & radio) are controlled by the government, so they are trusted more for authentic news and for government announcements and policy changes, making them an intrinsic part of our lives," said Chakraborty.
Interestingly, Indians are wary of online sources of news and information. Trust in online sources of news remains is low among Indians, said Ipsos.
Of those surveyed, 67% Indians believe that there is prevalence of fake news in news and information of online news websites and platforms; 63% Indians feel that people they know predominantly through the internet are the purveyors of fake news in the news and information they share. However, 55% of those surveyed feel that even newspapers and magazines have prevalence of fake news in their information.
India has been seeing increased instances of fake news and information, especially as the growth of smartphones and the internet has helped fuel the rise of social media platforms such as Facebook-owned WhatsApp and Twitter, where such news is often circulated.
To curb the same, the Indian government has asked several platforms such as messaging app WhatsApp and Twitter to take actions to bring greater accountability on the platforms, in order to effectively stop the spread of misinformation.